Friday, May 8, 2009

Drew Peterson's World of Pure Hell

For the children of Drew Peterson, they have lived in a world filled with secrets, lies and death.

This is perhaps the saddest day for them. Regardless of what anyone thinks of their father, he is the only parent these kids have known for 18 months. In July of 2008, I posted on the women and crime site on a piece titled "No More Sweet Dreams" The Peterson children are in crisis. Their emotions are like a teeter totter on a play ground, Up one minute, down the next. For a child reared in choas and uncertainty that is a crime on the human spirit, similar to a permanent birth mark, invisable only seen on the inside. It is impossible to believe or think "they will get over it" or "once are adults everything will magically turn to normal."

From the moment Peterson started the arguing and violence his kids; Lacy, Andrew, Thomas and Kristopher Peterson's lives were forever altered and turned into pure living hell.

Below is an except from the book :"Holding My Hand Through Hell" scheduled for release in the fall of 2009. It is a glimpse into the world of a child without hope for a life without violence. It' is the journey of a police officer's daughter who searchs for God, acceptance and hope into her adult life.
" I was scared of my father.

Sometimes when I was supposed to be sleeping, I could hear my father shout at my mother, “Who is going to believe you? I am a policeman and I will have you locked up, Roberta, and you will never see your children again. If you even think of leaving me, I will kill you and the kids, set the house on fire and get away with it.”

When my father started talking about killing us, I was scared. I had terrible nightmare’s and often was in such a deep sleep I’d wet the bed. I believed the day would come and I would die. I imagined him killing my mother first, come into my bedroom and suffocate me to death with a pillow. Then he would walk down to Bobby’s room and kill him with his pillow.

After, we were all dead I imagined my father would get the big red gas can he kept in the tool shed, come back into the house and shake the gasoline in front of each bedroom door. He would reach into his pocket for a packet of wooden matches, strike a flame, throw it onto the gasoline and leave us to burn to death. No one would ever suspect anything. He was a cop.

In the mid 1960’s, there were no shelters for battered women. No one ever dared discuss their personal problems with others like we do today. Family issues and problems were left to physicians in general practice from whom women like my mother received monthly prescriptions for valium to deal with the stress and pain in their lives. I chose to deal with the
mental torture and abuse by using my mind as an imaginary playground.

If I was at friends house and saw how kind a father was to his kids I would imagine my life with that person’s daddy pretending to be happy. Or sitting down to a family meal where everyone asked about your day or how was going. I saw only anger and the exchange of bitter words.

As a child, one of my favorite television shows was Bewitched. I was fascinated in Elizabeth Montgomery’s character’s power to twitch her nose or snap her finger and make people vanish. Sometimes I would pretend I had the same powers and was able to make my father vanish to someplace like the North Pole.(It was the only place I could think up where my father would have no access to a car or a train unable to return home.)

I often imagined my father being killed at work in some heroic fashion. Maybe gunned down during a heated gun battle with a bank robber. Within hours a police department official would be dispatched to our home ring the doorbell and give my mother the news,
my father had been killed. Secretly, I wished for the day my father would never again, step foot through the front door.

I was consumed with ways of wishing away my father from our lives. My mind was the only thing my father had no control over. He did not have access to my thoughts. I learned how to use my mind as a playground, a safe place to escape. Being from a police family had a lot of drawbacks, in addition to making sure I stayed out of trouble, everyone in the neighborhood and at school was under the impression my father was some sort of superhero. My father had a special social status as a cop. He was seen by the world as a perfect father, provider and police officer. He was the first to help a neighbor in distress. And the last person any would suspect of terrorizing his family.

Strangers would often comment and say what a lucky little girl I was to have a wonderful father. I was expected to suck up the accolades nod in agreement with strangers and say “thank you.”

For me to even attempt to make allegations of fear or violence against this superhero crime fighter caused school administrators and others to question my own mental stability.
A morning ritual, before climbing out of bed, would be to close my eyes tightly, and say to myself and God, “Please, make Mommy be here.”

More than anything in the world, I needed my mom to be okay."


Anonymous said...

Much attention has been placed on everything but the kids. Regardless of how we all feel about DP he is the only parent as you mentioned the children have known since Stacy Peterson went missing. Very sad for everyone involved.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in a bad home as I kid saw a lot of abuse.

The kids are gonna have a real hard time.

At least Drew is away in a place where he can's hurt anyone anymore.

Sara Huizenga Lubbers said...

Shame on you, Susan! This is at least the 10th time you've "made me" cry today! ;)

You amaze me and I admire you more each day, can't wait for your new upcoming book "Holding My Hand Through Hell" - what a materpiece!

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